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Angeles City - Archived News

Angeles City


Former Angeles, Bacolod mayors slapped with graft raps

By Cynthia D. Balana (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines–The former mayors of Angeles City and Bacolod City have been charged separately with graft in the Sandiganbayan for alleged questionable transactions during their tenures.

Former Angeles City Mayor Francis Nepomuceno was slapped with two counts of graft by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).

In the first offense, the information said that on June 8, 2010, Nepomuceno executed a deed of donation of the city’s Mitsubishi Adventure vehicle worth P786,000 in favor of Kapanalig Angeles City Inc. (Kapanalig), a nongovernment organization. Charged as coaccused was Kapanalig president Abelardo Pamintuan Jr.

According to the OMB, the two conspired to effect the donation which was “manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the city, considering its poor financial condition and the requirements of the city for service vehicles at the time.”

The second case, which referred to the same donation, violated the Local Government Code since the donee, Kapanalig, was ineligible to accept the vehicle from the donor, the city government, since the former was not a government agency or instrumentality.

The OMB charged former Bacolod City Mayor Luzviminda Valdez with four counts of graft and four counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of official/public documents for overpayments made to her by the city government totaling P383,323 through reimbursements.

Records showed the overpayments covered four separate transactions made by Valdez, which were supposedly incurred by the city government.

The OMB said that in one such transaction, the accused made it appear that she paid for P80,000 worth of medicines to the Negros Grace Pharmacy II by inserting items not actually purchased and altering the amounts paid in connection with the implementation of the Mobile Health Clinic Program on Jan. 8, 2004.

10,000 RUNNERS

By Franco G. Regala

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga — Around 10,000 runners are expected to participate today in the 38th National Milo Marathon (NMM) elimination race here. Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President-CEO Arthur Tugade said organizers of the sports activity had launched an 18-leg event that kicked off in Baguio City last June 29 and culminates in Davao on Nov. 23. This year’s footrace, which marks Milo’s 50th year in the country, is expected to gather around 230,000 runners all-in-all. (Franco G. Regala)

CDC sets 5-month sports festival

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation has set a five-month long sports festival, which is expected to attract local and international tourists.

The sports events, scheduled this month until November, will be participated in by local, national and international students, athletes, private and business sectors, said CDC President Arthur Tugade.

"Clark proves to be an ideal venue for the holding of various sports activities. This will greatly benefit our locators as some have restaurants, hotels and casinos here. In general, this will improve business tourism inside the Freeport," said Tugade.

From July 19 to 27, the CDC provides venue to four sporting events such as the Clark Cycling Classic; Holy Angel University EnviRUNment: "Run for NAture;’’ and the Angeles University Foundation Colleges of Law LEX FUN RUN.

The 38th National Milo Marathon (NMM), now on its fourth leg, was set on July 20 at SM City Clark and Clark Freeport with an estimated 10,000 runners.

The CDC lined up three sports activities kicking off with the Aboitiz Power Tour of Subic Cycling Tournament (August 16 to 17); the Korean Amateur Baseball Tournament (August 23 to 24) and the Philippine Duathlon Series Leg 3 on Aug. 24.

Opening the sports fest on September 7 is the Active Health Duathlon to be held at Clark roads; the Clark Museum Parking area (Oct 11 to 26), Clark Parade Ground 4 and 5, and the Clark roads will be the setting for the Philippine Australian Football; the Bayani Race Fun Run by Gawad Kalinga Pampanga Chapter and the Tri United 3 Triathlon.

The Clark Parade Grounds will again serve as venue for the International Cricket Sixes Tournament 2014 from November 1 to 2; the Tri United 4 Triathlon on November 23 and the Claret Football Community from November 29 to 30.

SM Pampanga celebrates Children's Book Day

By Ian Ocampo Flora

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- SM City Pampanga joined this year's celebration of National Children's Book Day (NCBD) with a host of storytelling activities inside the mall.

Academy of Performing Arts Leonilyn Sarmiento read the story “Askal Inside” and “Pyesta sa Hardin ni Lola Benita” and another story from Carlo Catu titled “Halimaw” was presented to elementary students from San Lorenzo Ruiz Center of Studies and Schools.

SM City Pampanga public relations manager Rain Cervantes said that the students actively joined the interaction during and after the storytelling with the special participation from Angeles City SPED students with visual impairments as they showed their passion for reading through the use of braille.

Since 1967, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated every April 2 in time for the birthday of the world-famous Danish author of well-loved fairy tales and poems, Hans Christian Andersen. Said festivity is held yearly to inspire love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

Locally, we celebrate National Children’s Book Day on the third Tuesday of July, in commemoration of the publication of Dr. Jose Rizal’s “Ang Pagong at ang Matsing” (The Turtle and the Monkey) at the Trubner’s Oriental Record in London.

The SM Supermalls’ Corporate Social Responsibility program, SM Cares, through the SM Committee on Youth and Children’s Welfare, recently celebrated Children’s Book Day on July 15, with a simultaneous storytelling across 49 SM malls nationwide and five SM malls in China.

Inspirational words from special guests Councilor Noel Tulabut, chairman on education of the City of San Fernando and Provincial Librarian Bessie Macabali shared their love for reading to inspire the youngsters.

“With more than three million customers going to our malls daily, and approximately half being children, we have put it upon ourselves to make our malls not just child-friendly, but more importantly, a venue for a kid’s growth and learning”, said Anna Liza Carino, Assistant Mall Manager of SM City Pampanga.

“SM is now beyond shopping, entertainment, and leisure. It is now about taking affirmative action in our social responsibilities. It is about taking initiatives, to be instrumental in caring for children, the best way we can”, she added.

Together with partners from the Department of Education (DepEd), Vibal Publishing, SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation and SM Foundation INC., the National Children’s Book reading hopes to cultivate a love for reading and inspire kids into reading early to further boost a child’s development.

This shall be highlighted by a turnover of more than 50,000 brand new books to different public schools nationwide. The primary objective of SM Cares is for kids to have fun in learning that would reinforce a child’s rich and colorful imagination, instill proper values, and encourage children to explore and learn about other cultures.

4 more Koreans held in Clark for online gaming

By Philippine Daily Inquirer

ANGELES CITY—A day after the arrest of four Korean men for alleged illegal online gambling here on July 10, four more Koreans were arrested by policemen for allegedly operating an illegal Internet gambling network in the Clark Freeport Zone. A report released by the Central Luzon regional police on Monday said policemen raided a building on Ninoy Aquino Avenue in the Clark Freeport on July 11 where Hon Kim, Young Jee-kim, Byoung Ik-kim, and Seong Hyun-kim, all residents of Angeles City, were arrested.

In a report, Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Central Luzon police director, said the policemen, who were armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Norman Pamintuan of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 73, arrested the Koreans for alleged violations of Presidential Decree No. 1602, which penalizes illegal gambling, and Republic Act No. 8484, which prohibits the use of electronic devices in fraudulent acts. The subject of the search warrant, Kim Min-gi, was not in the building during the raid. Seized from the building being rented by Kim were 12 sets of desktop computers, telephones, modems, Internet routers and seven pieces of credit cards. Jun Malig, Inquirer Central Luzon

Residents along waterways evacuated

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- Heavy rains brought by Typhoon Glenda forced the evacuation of scores of families in Barangay Balibago and other villages here on Wednesday.

The evacuees are temporarily housed at the function room of the Balibago Barangay Hall.

Balibago chairman Rodelio "Tony" Mamac said that he has activated the barangay disaster team and alerted village officials on the situation.

He said that they are monitoring water channels particularly the Abacan River, Balibago Creek, and Hadrian and prepare for possible forced evacuation of residents if water levels rise.

Trucks and emergency vehicles are on "stand by," said Mamac.

"Bumili na kami ng mga pagkain, damit, at mga gamot para sa mga affected residents," he said.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, who led the monitoring efforts of the City Government, said he directed the City Social Welfare and Development Office to provide relief goods to the evacuees.

By Thursday morning, the typhoon is forecast to be outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

Signal number 3 was hoisted in Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Quezon, Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, Mindoro, and Metro Manila.

CDC hits 1.21B revenue target

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has recorded P1.21-billion in revenue and net income of P327 million during the first quarter.

This was disclosed by CDC president Arthur Tugade during a business conference organized by the Kapampangan Development Foundation chaired by Manny V. Pangilinan.

The cash position of CDC, Tugade said, is now pegged at P2 billion based on a report prepared by the finance group of the state-owned firm.

According to Tugade, the casino at the Oxford Hotel settled its arrears of P200 million and this improved the CDC's cash position.

With the generated income, CDC was also able to remit P220 million to the national treasury following its improved financial disposition.

Last year, CDC's net profit reached P327 million with P1.2 billion in gross revenues.

Tugade also informed the MVP group that CDC has a total of 737 locators as of July 2014, employing a total number of 72,945 workers.

Investment inside the Freeport is pegged at $4.48 billion, Tugade said.

With the improved business climate in Clark, CDC is targeting 100,000 employment opportunities in 2016, the official added.

He also disclosed that CDC was able to recover 28.34 hectares from the non-performing locators while 236.55 hectares were revived from the non-performing investors.

Of the revived property, Tugade said that 10 locators will continue their investments worth $177.77 million. With these investments, CDC is expecting additional 5,000 employment opportunities.

Clark June export volume up by 21 percent

By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

CLARK FREEPORT, July 14 (PIA) -- Export volume in Clark Freeport rose to 21 percent in June 2014 compared to the same period last year.

In a media statement, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Trade Facilitation Department Manager Rodgardo Deang disclosed that it was able to generate $388 million compared to $320 million in 2013.

Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corporation of South Korea remains with the most export volume at $229 million or 57 percent of the total export last month.

It was followed by Nanox Philippines Inc. with $73 million; Yokohama Tire Philippines- $26 million; and L&T International Group Philippines Inc.- $13 million.

“Semi-conductor sector as a whole posted the highest export documentations last month with $229 million or 59 percent followed by electronics- $85 million, and manufacturing- $41 million.

Importation volume, on the other hand, was $305 million which is slightly lower to the $317 million last May.

CDC was able to generate around P3.2 million from the various fees of importing and exporting firms, which is up from 2013’s P2.7 million. (CLJD-PIA 3)

P200-M devt plan aims to turn Arayat, Pampanga, into ecotourism hub

By Ashley Manabat / Correspondent

CLARK FREEPORT—A P200-million ecotourism plan has been drawn for two comprehensive programs that could turn Arayat, Pampanga, into a premier tourism hub by 2016.

Arayat Mayor Emmanuel “Bon” Alejandrino made the announcement during the “Balitaan” forum at the Bale Balita here on Friday organized by the Capampangan in Media Inc. in cooperation with the Clark Development Corp. and the Social Security System.

The first-term mayor said one of the programs envisions the speedy development of the 14-hectare resort area of Central Luzon’s only mountain. He said this could prepare Arayat achieve its goal of employing tourism activities as an essential instrument for its progress and sustained growth.

Alejandrino, a former Huk leader, said Arayat has an “image problem” concerning peace and order but has now been recently declared by the Regional Development Council as one of the most peaceful towns in Central Luzon.

The comprehensive 10-year eco-tourism program has a price tag of P200 million which will be executed under the national government’s private-public partnership program template designed to lure private capital in projects that could spur economic progress in the country’s urban and rural communities. This program will be supported by a comprehensive land-use plan that will guide the town’s quest for socioeconomic progress, Alejandrino said.

Both plans have been finalized and scheduled for formal unveiling in August, he said, stressing that Phase-1 of the tourism program has actually been implemented to jump-start the reforestation of the denuded sections of the mountain and the upgrading of the facilities at the San Juan Baño Park at the foot of Mount Arayat which was declared by then President Manuel L. Quezon under the Commonwealth Act as a National Park. Alejandrino said Mount Arayat comprises about 3,400 hectares but only about 10 hectares now been is considered virgin forest.

He said the rest has been denuded because of rampant illegal logging and the traditional kaingin or slash-and-burn method of upland farmers to clear the land. With the forest denudation also went the wild animals which once roamed the mountain. Only a handful of monkeys, wild boars and some birds remain, he said.

Sadly, only three forest rangers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are guarding Mount Arayat, the mayor said. Alejandrino said illegal logging has now been abated but sporadic reports of the illegal activity still crop up every now and then.

Alejandrino said, for the first time in years, the San Juan Baño resort has begun to generate revenues for the local government.

He said in a period of three months from March to May this year alone, revenues from gate receipts of the resort have already amounted to nearly P1 million that allowed the municipality to pay entirely the P300,000 annual rent to the DENR.

He said the ecotourism program will be primarily geared toward protecting and rehabilitating Mount Arayat to help mitigate the adverse impact of climate change not only in Arayat town and Pampanga, but the entire Central Luzon.

The reforestation phase of the program will be buttressed by the town’s plan to encourage direct involvement of private groups in planting and growing forest and fruit trees in partnership with the town’s communities and informal upland farmers.

To attain this objective, the mayor said, “we intend to mount a campaign for a wider community support. This means that our cries will not only be confined to within our borders to help us promote the protection of Mount Arayat but also beyond by selling Arayat as ‘The Last Frontier’ in Central Luzon.”

Alejandrino said his administration also hopes to execute plans and programs that will closely abide by the declaration of Mount Arayat as a national park.

To achieve this objective, he said his office has started to network with the three areas around the mountain (the towns of Magalang, Mexico and Angeles City) for a closer coordination in the execution of work plans designed to clean and clear waterways to avert flashfloods in some barangays around the mountain and even mount support for reforestation programs of the other towns, as well as help beef up security in and around the mountain. More than 60 percent of the total area of Mount Arayat falls within the territory of Arayat town, while 40 percent is in the town of Magalang. Angeles City and Mexico are situated at the foot of the mountain.

In the case of Arayat, the mayor said in his first 100 days in office, he managed to improve the town’s, peace-and-order situation by taking a tough stance against bandits, drug pushers and other criminally bent individuals, including illegal loggers and slash-and-burn farmers in the mountain—a development that allowed his office to work on the programs designed to uplift Arayat’s socioeconomic condition.

Clark exports reach $388-M

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has announced that the export volume inside the Freeport has grown to US$388 as of June this year compared to that of same period last year.

The Trade Facilitation Department (TFD) of CDC said that exports increased by $68 million or 21 percent.

TFD Manager Rodgardo Deang said the June 2013 export volume was posted at $320 million.

The TFD manager added that the semi-conductor sector posted the highest e-ED with $229 million or 59 percent of the total export volume last June 2014.

The semicon sector was followed by electronics with $85 million or 22 percent share, and manufacturing firms with $41 million or 11 percent.

The TFD said that Korea’s Phoenix Semiconductor Phils. Corporation (PSPC) led the export volume with $229 million or 57 percent of the total export; Japan’s Nanox Phils. Inc. registered $73 million export volume or 19 percent.

Yokohama Tire Phils. Inc. on the other hand yielded $26 million or seven percent export volume while L&T International Group Phils., Inc with $13 million or three percent of the export volume.

TFD reports said importation volume was posted at $305 million last month. This is lower than the May 2014 with $317 million, the reports stated.

Admission permit applications last June reached 4,243 compared to 3,848 in the same month in 2013.

Deang said that processing fees from the admission (importation) permit in June 2014 amounted P815,500.

CDC generated a total of P2.4 million revenue from the processing of export permits last month.

Claims board rapped for ‘sabotage’

By Christine F. Herrera

President Benigno Aquino III and the Human Rights Victims Claims Board were accused of “sabotaging” the two-day application process that was feared to result in “delisting” of claimants.

Rights victims were being denied of their rightful claim, said Karapatan.

On June 30 and July 1, Karapatan said while the members of the claims board, headed by a police general, were billeted in posh hotels nationwide, the victims from far flung areas and mountains were victimized all over again after they were required to show proof other than the agreed identification documents.

As a result, only a few of the original claimants in Lucena City, Iloilo City, Angeles City and other parts of the country were processed, according to Karapatan chairperson and claimant Marie Hilao Enriquez.

Enriquez, one of the members in the Hawaii class suit filed against the late Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, assailed the Aquino-appointed Human Rights Victims Claims Board in a press conference.

“I accuse this government of sabotaging the implementation of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 or RA 10368. When Aquino was quoted by media reports saying there are ‘those who would want to sabotage this law,’ he was definitely talking about us who vehemently objected his appointment of PNP General Sarmiento as HRVCB head. Now, by his actions, it is the Aquino government that is sabotaging the law at the expense of martial law victims,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez said only a small percentage of the thousands who came from far-flung provinces were accommodated in the regional on-site centers, which were set up for only two to three days in each location with the members of the Claims Board or their representatives staying in hotels or smug accommodations in the cities contrary to what they say as “a caravan to go and know the victims better.”

In Angeles City, Pampanga, the first of their regional on-site centers, the HRVCB only accepted 300 applicants in two days, depriving a hundred more victims from not filing their applications, said Enriquez, citing reports received by her office.

In Lucena City, she said, only 93 individuals were processed out of more than 600 victims who went to file their applications.

In Iloilo City, only 268 victims were processed in two days out of more than 800 victims who arrived to file applications from the different parts of the Panay Island, she reported.

“The HRVCB said they will return for pending applications in Central Luzon, with no exact date,” she said.

Angeles City Archived News

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